Vous êtes sur la page 1sur 12


A bank is a financial institution whose primary activity is to act as a payment agent for customers and to borrow and lend money. It is an institution for receiving, keeping, and lending money in hopes of repayment (Excludes California). Many other financial activities were added over time. For example banks are important players in financial markets and offer financial services such as investment funds. In some countries such as Germany banks are the primary owners of industrial corporations while in other countries such as the United States banks are prohibited from owning non-financial companies. In Japan, banks are usually the nexus of a cross-share holding entity known as the zaibatsu.In France, banc assurance is prevalent, as most banks offer insurance services(and now real estate services) to their clients.

Origin of the word:

The name bank derives from the Italian word banco "desk/bench", used during the Renaissance by Florentine bankers, who used to make their transactions above a desk covered by a green tablecloth. However, there are traces of banking activity even in ancient times. In fact, the word traces its origins back to the Ancient Roman Empire, where moneylenders would set up their stalls in the middle of enclosed courtyards called macella on a long bench called a bancu, from which the words banco and bank are derived. As a moneychanger, the merchant at the bancu did not so much invest money as merely convert the foreign currency into the only legal tender in Romethat of the Imperial Mint.


The definition of a bank varies from country to country. Under English common law, a banker is defined as a person who carries on the business of banking, which is specified as: conducting current accounts for his customers paying cheques drawn on him, and Collecting cheques for his customers. In most English common law jurisdictions there is a Bills of Exchange Act that codifies the law in relation to negotiable instruments, including cheques, and this Act contains a statutory definition of the term banker: banker includes a body of persons, whether incorporated or not, who carry on the business of banking' (Section 2, Interpretation). Although this definition seems circular, it is actually functional, because it ensures that the legal basis for bank transactions such as cheques do not depend on how the bank is organized or regulated. The business of banking is in many English common law countries not defined by statute but by common law, the definition above. In other English common law jurisdictions there are statutory definitions of the business of banking or banking business. When looking at these definitions it is important to keep in mind that they are defining the business of banking for the purposes of the legislation, and not necessarily in general. In particular, most of the definitions are from legislation that has the purposes of entry regulating and supervising banks rather than regulating the actual business of banking. However, in many cases the statutory definition closely mirrors the common law one. Examples of statutory definitions: "banking business" means the business of receiving money on current or deposit account, paying and collecting cheques drawn by or paid in by customers, the making of advances to customers, and includes such other 15 business as the Authority may prescribe for the purposes of this Act; (Banking Act (Singapore), Section 2, Interpretation).

"banking business" means the business of either or both of the following: 1. receiving from the general public money on current, deposit, savings or other similar account repayable on demand or within less than [3 months] ... or with a period of call or notice of less than that period; 2. paying or collecting cheques drawn by or paid in by customers. Since the advent of EFTPOS (Electronic Funds Transfer at Point Of Sale), direct credit, direct debit and internet banking, the cheque has lost its primacy in most banking systems as a payment instrument. This has led legal theorists to suggest that the cheque based definition should be broadened to include financial institutions that conduct current accounts for customers and enable customers to pay and be paid by third parties, even if they do not pay and collect cheques.

Wider commercial role:

The commercial role of banks is not limited to banking, and includes: issue of banknotes (promissory notes issued by a banker and payable to bearer on demand) processing of payments by way of telegraphic transfer, EFTPOS, internet banking or other means issuing bank drafts and bank cheques accepting money on term deposit lending money by way of overdraft, installment loan or otherwise providing documentary and standby letters of credit (trade finance),guarantees, performance bonds, securities underwriting commitments and other forms of off-balance sheet exposures

safekeeping of documents and other items in safe deposit boxes currency exchange acting as a 'financial supermarket' for the sale, distribution or brokerage, with or without advice, of insurance, unit trusts and similar financial products.

Law of banking:
Banking law is based on a contractual analysis of the relationship between the bank (defined above) and the customerdefined as any entity for which the bank agrees to conduct an account. The law implies rights and obligations into this relationship as follows: 1. The bank account balance is the financial position between the bank and the customer: when the account is in credit, the bank owes the balance to the customer; when the account is overdrawn, the customer owes the balance to the bank. 2. The bank agrees to pay the customer's cheques up to the amount standing to the credit of the customer's account, plus any agreed overdraft limit. 3. The bank may not pay from the customer's account without a mandate from the customer, e.g. a cheque drawn by the customer. 4. The bank agrees to promptly collect the cheques deposited to the customer's account as the customer's agent, and to credit the proceeds to the customer's account. 5. The bank has a right to combine the customer's accounts, since each account is just an aspect of the same credit relationship.

6. The bank has a lien on cheques deposited to the customer's account, to the extent that the customer is indebted to the bank. 7. The bank must not disclose details of transactions through the customer's accountunless the customer consents, there is a public duty to disclose, the bank's interests require it, or the law demands it. 8. The bank must not close a customer's account without reasonable notice, since cheques are outstanding in the ordinary course of business for several days.These implied contractual terms may be modified by express agreement between the customer and the bank. The statutes and regulations in force within a particular jurisdiction may also modify the above terms and/or create new rights,obligations or limitations relevant to the bank-customer relationship.

Entry regulation:
Currently in most jurisdictions commercial banks are regulated by government entities and require a special bank licence to operate. Usually the definition of the business of banking for the purposes of regulation is extended to include acceptance of deposits, even if they are not repayable to the customers orderalthough money lending, by itself, is generally not included in the definition. Unlike most other regulated industries, the regulator is typically also a participant in the market, i.e. a government-owned (central) bank. Central banks also typically have a monopoly on the business of issuing banknotes. However, in some countries this is not the case. In the UK, for example, the Financial Services Authority licences banks, and some commercial banks (such as the Bank of Scotland) issue their own banknotes in addition to those issued by the Bank of England, the UK governments central bank.

Some types of financial institution, such as building societies and credit unions,may be partly or wholly exempt from bank licence requirements, and therefore regulated under separate rules. The requirements for the issue of a bank licence vary between jurisdictions but typically include: 1. Minimum capital 2. Minimum capital ratio 3. Fit and Proper requirements for the banks controllers, owners, directors, and/or senior officers 4. Approval of the banks business plan as being sufficiently prudent and plausible.

Banking channels:
Banks offer many different channels to access their banking and other services: A branch, banking centre or financial centre is a retail location where a bank or financial institution offers a wide array of face-to-face service to its customers. ATM is a computerized telecommunications device that provides a financial institution's customers a method of financial transactions in a public space without the need for a human clerk or bank teller. Most banks now have more ATMs than branches, and ATMs are providing a wider range of services to a wider range of users. For example in Hong Kong,most ATMs enable anyone to deposit cash to any customer of the bank's account by feeding in the notes and entering the account number to be credited. Also, most ATMs enable card holders from other banks to

get their account balance and withdraw cash, even if the card is issued by a foreign bank. Mail is part of the postal system which itself is a system wherein written documents typically enclosed in envelopes, and also small packages containing other matter, are delivered to destinations around the world. This can be used to deposit cheques and to send orders to the bank to pay money to third parties. Banks also normally use mail to deliver periodic account statements to customers. Telephone banking is a service provided by a financial institution which normally includes bill payments for bills from major billers (e.g. for electricity). Online banking is a term used for performing transactions, payments etc. over the Internet through a bank, credit union or building society's secure website.

Types of banks:
Banks' activities can be divided into retail banking, dealing directly with individuals and small businesses; business banking, providing services to midmarket business; corporate banking, directed at large business entities; private banking, providing wealth management services to high net worth individuals and families; and investment banking, relating to activities on the financial markets. Most banks are profit-making, private enterprises. However, some are owned by government, or are non-profit organizations. Central banks are normally government-owned and charged with quasi-regulatory responsibilities, such as supervising commercial banks, or controlling the cash interest rate. They generally provide liquidity to the banking system and act as the lender of last resort in event of a crisis.

Types of retail banks:

Commercial bank: the term used for a normal bank to distinguish it from an investment bank. After the Great Depression, the U.S. Congress required that banks only engage in banking activities, whereas investment banks were limited to capital market activities. Since the two no longer have to be under separate ownership, some use the term "commercial bank" to refer to a bank or a division of a bank that mostly deals with deposits and loans from corporations or large businesses. Community Banks: locally operated financial institutions that empower employees to make local decisions to serve their customers and the partners. Community development banks: regulated banks that provide financial services and credit to under-served markets or populations. Postal savings banks: savings banks associated with national postal systems. Private banks: banks that manage the assets of high net worth individuals. Offshore banks: banks located in jurisdictions with low taxation and regulation. Many offshore banks are essentially private banks. Savings bank: in Europe, savings banks take their roots in the 19th or sometimes even 18th century. Their original objective was to provide easily accessible savings products to all strata of the population. In some countries, savings banks were created on public initiative; in others, socially committed individuals created foundations to put in place the necessary infrastructure. Nowadays, European savings banks have kept their focus on retail banking: payments, savings products, credits and insurances for individuals or small and medium-sized enterprises. Apart

from this retail focus, they also differ from commercial banks by their broadly decentralised distribution network, providing local and regional outreachand by their socially responsible approach to business and society. Building societies and Landesbanks: institutions that conduct retail banking. Ethical banks: banks that prioritize the transparency of all operations and make only what they consider to be socially-responsible investments. Islamic banks: Banks that transact according to Islamic principles.

Types of investment banks:

Investment banks "underwrite" (guarantee the sale of) stock and bond issues, trade for their own accounts, make markets, and advise corporations on capital market activities such as mergers and acquisitions. Merchant banks were traditionally banks which engaged in trade finance. The modern definition, however, refers to banks which provide capital to firms in the form of shares rather than loans. Unlike venture capital firms, they tend not to invest in new companies.

Both combined:
Universal banks, more commonly known as financial services companies, engage in several of these activities. For example, Citigroup is a large American bank involved in commercial and retail lending, with subsidiaries in tax havens offering offshore banking services to customers in other countries. Other large financial institutions are similarly diversified and engage in multiple activities. In Europe and Asia, big banks are very diversified groups that, among

other services, also distribute insurancehence the term bancassurance, a portmanteau word combining "banque or bank" and "assurance", signifying that both banking and insurance are provided by the same corporate entity.

Other types of banks: Islamic banking

Islamic banks adhere to the concepts of Islamic law. This form of banking revolves around several well-established principles based on Islamic canons. All banking activities must avoid interest, a concept that is forbidden in Islam. Instead, the bank earns profit (markup) and fees on the financing facilities that it extends to customers.


No any financial institution in this world today can claim the antiquity and majesty of the State Bank of India. It was founded nearly two centuries ago with the primary intent of imparting stability to the money market, the bank from its inception mobilized fund for supporting both the public credit of the Companys Governments in the three presidencies of British India and the private credit of the European and Indian merchants. From about the 1860s, when Indian economy took a significant leap forward under the impulse of quickened world communication and ingenious methods of industrial and agricultural production, the Bank became intimately involved in the financing of practically every trading, manufacturing and mining activity of the sub-continent. Although large European and Indian merchants and manufacturers were undoable the principal beneficiaries, the small man was never ignored they were also provided loans. Added to this the bank till the creation of the reserve banking 1935carried out numerous central banking functions.

Adaptation to the changing world and the need of the hour has been one of the strengths of the bank. In the post Depression era when bank opportunities became extremely restricted. Rules laid in the book of instructions were relaxed to ensure that good business did not go past. Yet seldom did he bank were contravene its rules to depart from sound banking principals to retain or expand its business. New business strategies were also evolved way back in 1937 to render the best banking services through prompt and courteous attention to customers. A highly efficient and experienced management, functioning in a well defined organizational structure did not take long to place the bank on a exalted pedestal in the area of business, profitability, internal discipline and above all credibility. An impeccable financial status, consistent maintenance of the lofty traditions of banking and a observance of a higher standard of integrity in its operations helped the bank gain a pre-eminent status. No wonder the administration of the bank was universal as key functionaries of the Indian office and government of India successive finance ministers of independent India, Reserve Bank governors and representatives of the chambers of commerce showered encomiums on it. State Bank of India (SBI) is India's largest commercial bank. SBI has a vast domestic network of over 11,000 branches (approximately 14% of all bank branches) and commands one-fifth of deposits and loans of all scheduled commercial banks in India. The State Bank Group includes a network of seven banking subsidiaries and several non-banking subsidiaries offering merchant banking services, fund management, factoring services, primary dealership in government securities, credit cards and insurance.

The seven banking subsidiaries are:

1-State Bank of Bikaner and Jaipur (SBBJ) 2-State Bank of Hyderabad (SBH)

3-State Bank of India (SBI) 4-State Bank of Indore (SBIR) 5-State Bank of Mysore (SBM) 6-State Bank of Patiala (SBP) 7-State Bank of Travancore (SBT) The origins of State Bank of India date back to 1806 when the Bank of Calcutta (later called the Bank of Bengal) was established. In 1921, the Bank of Bengal and two other Presidency banks (Bank of Madras and Bank of Bombay) were amalgamated to form the Imperial Bank of India. In 1955, the controlling interest in the Imperial Bank of India was acquired by the Reserve Bank of India and the State Bank of India (SBI) came into existence by an act of Parliament as successor to the Imperial Bank of India. Today, State Bank of India (SBI) has spread its arms around the world and has a network of branches spanning all time zones. SBI's International Banking Group delivers the full range of cross-border finance solutions through its four wings-the Domestic division, the Foreign Offices division, the Foreign Department and the International Services division.